DI women's hockey team maintaining momentum into future
July 12, 2019 | Lynchburg, Va.
Defending its national title March 31 near Dallas — the third in five years for Liberty University's ACHA Division I women's hockey team — has not instilled a sense of complacency in Lady Flames' Head Coach Chris Lowes. Quite the contrary, he and his coaching staff and returning players look to the future with unbridled optimism and a greater sense of purpose.
"We have lofty goals," Lowes said. "Certainly we have our eyes set on defending our title. That's going to be even more difficult next year — every year it gets tougher — but I like our outlook. There's potential there for this team to do great things on the ice. Off the ice, we want to continue to work together and take strides to take this program to where we want it to be."
He is pleased with the progress the program has made over the past two seasons, producing players who thrive in the sport and in their degree and professional pursuits, leaving a legacy for their returning teammates to build upon.
"We had a great year academically (and athletically) and I'm really proud of what the girls did," Lowes said. "We take a holistic approach to developing our student-athletes and having success as a team. We are seeing a number of high-character people graduating from our program … and going out into our community and representing Liberty and making an impact on our world."
ACHA Division I women's hockey is adding Minot State and Bishop's University for the 2019-20 season, making the road to another national title defense all the more challenging.
"I'm excited to add rivalries, add talented, well-organized and well-coached teams," Lowes said. "It is going to make it very crowded at the top and I think they'll push a lot of teams that have been there for a long time."
But with six incoming players committed for this fall and a few early signees for Fall 2020, the program is in a state of perpetual growth and improvement.
"I'm really happy and proud of the team we have worked on recruiting and the outlook for this fall is really exciting," Lowes said. "We're super excited about the people we have coming in, not just on the ice, talented hockey players, but what they'll bring to our locker room and overall team dynamic."